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How many journalists does it take....

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...to change a light bulb?

Well, two would appear to be the count at the Daily Mail.

I like to keep an eye on current events although not from newspapers which are yesterdays technology bringing you yesterday's news. That's assuming they have any news at all with the likes of the Daily Mail printing constant crusades on modern life every time they can't think up a Princess Diana story.

Whether its computer games, the metric system or youth culture, you can bet the Daily Mail has a hysterical front page screaming headlines to their ageing and increasing senile religious right readership.


Such is the case with yesterday's front page that I happened to spot on a discarded issue while I was out and about this morning. Apparently the brown-brogue and polyester slacks wearing golden oldies who read this rag are stocking up on 100W light bulbs before they are removed from our shelves for good in September under EU law. The Daily Mail is riling up these bored pensioners with headlines such as "Revolt! Robbed of their right to buy light bulbs, millions are clearing shelves of last supplies" and "The low-energy bulbs that won't fit your light sockets".

Besides missing anyone who can actually write a decent headline, the Mail is also a bit thin on the ground when it comes to expert opinion as they state that "experts have questioned whether or not the new bulbs, far from being environmentally friendly, are actually harmful", without naming who their ‘experts' were.

Not surprising really as not many people are going to admit to being a light bulb expert. Anyway, despite these expert 'scientitians' being unfit for mention by name, these top boffins also apparently say that "There is also concern because the fluorescent bulbs contain mercury, which makes them dangerous to get rid of."

Oh yes? My local council has a recycling scheme which covers mercury reclamation from CFL bulbs which is more than can be said for incandescent lamps that simply end up in landfill.

The Mail moves on with more interesting facts that were perhaps offered by the experts - or chipped in by the bored bloke on the traffic and travel desk. They say "[CFL's] can also be more expensive. Currently, an average supermarket price for a six pack of standard 60w pearl light bulbs is £1.21, but a single 60w low energy stick light bulb already costs around £2.19."

I guess their experts forgot to mention CFL's last much longer and cost less to run. Besides, last time I was in Homebase, common BC fitting CFL's made by Philips were on sale at 99p

The ill informed general public also had their say (assuming they actually exist and their quotes weren't dreamt up by the same bored hack who may have thought up that ‘expert' opinion), with one seemingly sobbing coffin-dodger blurting out "I have such a horror of energy saving bulbs that every time I go to Sainsbury's I buy a couple of the conventional ones......  I also get quite depressed in the winter, particularly if the lighting is dim. I hate them".

Calm down love! It's only a frikkin' light bulb.

Just to prove to those EU pencil pushers that the Mail is on the side of rebellious grandmothers everywhere, they are giving away 25000 incandescent hundred Watt light bulbs so that those pensioners who struggle to pay their energy bills can continue wasting electricity for another few years without having to change out the shitty faux brass oil-lamp style country cottage-esque light fittings they bought from Argos in the 1970's.

Yeah, that'll learn ‘em!

The BBC also ran the story on BBC1's Breakfast News television show this morning (yeah ‘cos there's NOTHING else happening in the world right now), but at least they had the decency to not bother wasting the bandwidth of the BBC News website by publishing the thoughts of the zimmer-grippers they polled on TV.

The BBC also had an expert - a real one too as they shoved him in front of the camera and said he was from Loughborough University (I think). He made the point that instead of us having to cut our individual energy consumption the Government should be coming up with new ways to generate more electricity. Well, yes and no. We do need sustainable energy supplies that don't damage the planet but we also all need to play our part and not burn up energy needlessly. Besides, the Government is coming up with renewable energy schemes but passing UFO's are apparently flying into them.

Funnily enough, I have a couple of boxes of as-new 100W bulbs in my loft that have been up there since the mid Nineties. The light fittings they used to be used in are long gone and I've never bothered to throw them away. Incontinent Mail readers everywhere will be spitting out their dentures when I say I have no intention of ever using them now and neither will I be giving them away. In fact, the best thing I can do with them is throw them away as they'll end up in landfill anyway and I don't want them wasting a load of energy before they do so.

For a low quality point of view on the issue, the Daily Mail webshite has the story in the following two links:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1107290/Revolt-Robbed-right-buy-traditional-light-bulbs-millions-clearing-shelves-supplies.html

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1108775/The-low-energy-bulbs-wont-fit-light-sockets.html


Of particular amusement is the last part of the article where they have sent a reporter out shopping to see if she can buy a light bulb. She reports "Energy saving bulbs are on special offer. But deciphering what bulb to buy is no easy task".

Blimey. You can see why she was sent to Tesco instead of Gaza.